Bald Eagle Management Plan

WRPCO includes bald eagle management areas into the land management plan on WRPCO–owned land within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) project boundary. Vegetation and wildlife management practices in these areas are conducted to protect and enhance the bald eagle and/or its habitat.

The bald eagle management areas are designated into three zones, which include; nesting areas, feeding areas and roosting areas. Human activity restrictions are most strictly regulated in the nesting areas as follows:

  • Nesting areas include the primary nesting area include a buffer not less than 330 feet from the nest. In this primary nesting areas, certain activities can not occur, which include major land uses, as a logging, building of roads, creation of recreational facilities or the use of chemical toxic to eagles. Major land use as described above may only be conducted under the unusual circumstances where the eagles are known to be tolerant to close human activity.
  • Also in the primary nesting areas, other activities can not be conducted during critical nesting periods (February 1 through July 31) of any given year. These activities include; human entry into primary areas, company low-level aircraft operation and major construction activities.
  • Secondary nesting includes a buffer of a minimum of 660 feet from the nest. Certain human activities of a permanent nature that are likely to disturb eagles do not occur within this buffer. The activities include; building of new roads and trails facilitating access to the nest and the use of chemicals toxic to eagles. Also logging, mining, camping and other human activities with time-limited effects are avoided when possible during the critical period.
  • Potential nesting areas, areas where no bald eagles are nesting but the habitat has a high potential for bald eagle nesting, i.e. super canopy trees also have restrictions. If logging activities occur in these areas a minimum of four to six super canopy trees will be maintained for potential nesting use in WRPCO-owned land within the FERC project boundary.

WRPCO does not remove old standing nest trees, regardless if the eagles have abandon the nest tree for several years. The tree may only be removed if it is danger tree that is a public or human safety concern.

An annual survey for bald eagles is conducted for the Petenwell and Castle Rock Flowages to ensure that new nest sites are identified.

As a side benefit to the bald eagle surveys, osprey nest locations (A state threatened species that feeds only on fish species) are also recorded. WRPCO incorporates many of the same restrictions for osprey as provided for bald eagles.

WRPCO has constructed or has helped to construct several Osprey nesting platforms in and around the Petenwell and Castle Rock Hydroelectric Projects.